The grilled cheese trend hits Hurst via Grain & Dairy Gourmet Grilled Cheese, a restaurant devoted to the popular sandwich that'll open in summer 2016.
Owner Josh Rogers, a Texas Tech graduate from the Haltom area, dedicated the last 11 years to learning the ropes of the restaurant industry, before developing the idea. He calls grilled cheese sandwiches the ultimate comfort food.
"Grilled cheese is something that just about everyone grew up eating, and there is a nostalgia in eating a grilled cheese that no other food can compare to," he says.
But with Grain & Dairy, he intends to elevate it to a level of sophistication that appeals to adults.
"Grilled cheese brings back all those memories of when your mom made it," he says. "But with all the different regions in the United States, everybody makes it differently. People can order a grilled cheese that brings them back to where they were and lets them remember awesome feelings, but also with versions that are done in a different way."
He's still working on the menu, but he knows that he'll offer a sandwich version of the Caprese salad, with sourdough bread, tomato, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic, as well as a grilled cheese sandwich dressed up with chopped beef brisket.
He'll have about 10 sandwiches plus a build-your-own option, with more than a dozen cheese options, from Havarti to cheddar to feta to blue, and a range of filling additions. He wants to follow somewhat of a seasonal theme, with different options rotated in and out depending on what's fresh. He'll also offer salads, soups, bottled beers, and wine.
His definition of a good grilled cheese sandwich is anything with a high proportion of cheese. "No matter what you put in it, cheese should be the highlight," he says.
Since he had his idea, he's seen a couple of places open, including Lee's and the Gorgonzola food truck in Fort Worth, Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. in Bishop Arts, and Tom + Chee in Richardson. But, for him, that's all good.
"I'm excited about it," he says. "No one else is in Hurst, and other places opening show that people think grilled cheese is a good idea."
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